My name is Alexandra Broekarts, born in 1971. My mother was Maria "Marietje" van der Vennen. Her dearest school friend was Eva "Evi" Voss, born on 25 May 1930. She was the first person after the family to write in my mother’s poetry album, when she got it for her 9th birthday in 1940. When the Voss family was deported from The Hague to Westerbork, the girls exchanged letters – first on ordinary paper and later on stern German paper that limited the amount of text and bore a big censor stamp on it. Evi chatted about her daily life, the nasty school, which was later closed, and how bored she felt. Evi's last letter to my mother is from June 1944. She was then transported to Auschwitz, where she was murdered in October.
School photo van Eva Voss
My mother seldom spoke about the war. I remember how amazed I was when as a small child I noticed her date of birth and asked "but did you live through the war?" Around 4 May she sometimes told us small things, never without crying, and that’s how I know Evi's name. My mother also told us that Evi was murdered right at the very end of the war in Auschwitz. My mother named my sister Eva after her, and I in turn gave the Greek translation of that name - Zoë – to one of my daughters in 2007. In recent months my mother has been growing demented, and we have had to move her to a new address. Among her belongings I came across her poetry album with Evi's poem, and also the complete correspondence between them, which my mother had put into a file entitled "Declaration of the rights children " – as published in the Netherlands in 1959.
The file with the letters
Good luck with your wonderful initiative. On behalf of my mother I have of course adopted the name Eva Voss.